Catching up with Allison Brennan, the 2019 PCMA Capital Chapter Emerging Professionals Intern
This past week, I had an amazing opportunity to shadow and work alongside SPARGO’s housing, registration, exhibits, and logistics teams as they successfully implemented their largest show of the year, the American Society of Clinical Oncology Annual Meeting, at McCormick Place in Chicago, Illinois.
My first rotation was with the housing team where I was able to develop an understanding of what it looks like to outsource a city-wide show. I was with housing during the last pre-conference day and spent my time with them checking then double-checking hotel rooming lists. I assisted in gathering their contracted hotel’s occupancy and room rates, as well as, confirming that our attendees were being provided with the accommodations to ensure an enjoyable time.
My second rotation with the SPARGO team onsite was with the registration team. I was extremely grateful to have the opportunity to work with registration during the first two opening days of the show because those were their busiest days with attendees. I enjoyed spending time and evaluating how the SPARGO team conducts their self-registration, full registration, exhibits and group registration, and print your own badge registration stations. However, I spent the most of my time at the print your own badge registration station, where I assisted attendees with their badges and online registration barcodes. I greatly enjoyed having the chance to assist and speak face to face with attendees from all over the world who were just as excited to be at the ASCO annual meeting as I was!
My third rotation with the SPARGO team and fourth day at ASCO was spent with the exhibits team. I was able to see up front how the structure of the exhibit hall at the largest oncology meeting in the world is captured. At first, it was slightly overwhelming to walk the exhibit floor due to other massive amounts exhibitors and the scale of the booths, but with the help of the exhibits team, I was able to navigate my way around the floor confidently. I learned about the algorithm that is formulated to decide which vendors get which types of booth space and the process of how the SPARGO team is able to sell the space of the exhibits floor for the following annual meeting. I enjoyed walking the exhibit hall with the team prior to it opening to assess the calm before the storm and to see the magnitude that the ASCO annual meeting possess from an exhibitor’s standpoint.
My final rotation with the SPARGO team and my fifth day at ASCO was spent with the logistics team. During my time with logistics I was afforded the chance to check in on all of the conference zones that each person on the logistics staff was assigned. This included pre and post session room checks, press conference check ins, coordinating with the security detail, and managing the food and beverage of each assigned session at McCormick Place. Two new ideas that were adopted by the show this year that had not been in years past which logistics saw through was the implementation of meeting space for exhibitors not on the exhibit floor and childcare. I enjoyed actively seeing the exhibitor meeting space and childcare fulfilled on show site and the team work through making those areas, along with their other assigned duties, a success.The logistics team also gave me the opportunity to discover their partnership with Freeman AV and to have a larger view of the aspects that Freeman assisted them with throughout the ASCO annual show.
Being among the SPARGO events team at ASCO Annual 2019 and having the opportunity to work with a client as dedicated towards finding a cure for cancer as the American Society of Clinical Oncology was an experience that I will never forget!
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